• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/29/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    I hope you are enjoying another fun filled spring week.  It is so amazing that we are on the threshold of a new month again.  May is such a month of abundance.  As I write this memo, we are still awaiting the final bond results.  Again, it is a nail biter with over 59% of the voters supporting the bond.  Once the bond results are final, we will have many decisions to make.  What we do know today, is that regardless of the outcome of the bond election, we remain unswervingly and resolutely committed to the grade reconfiguration plans laid out last year.  These plans support teaching and learning and the continued student enrollment growth.  Regardless of the bond vote outcome, we will continue the excellent work going on across this great district and innovative progress will resiliently flourish.    

    The South Kitsap Athletic Medicine team placed 9th out of 38 schools this past weekend at the Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine (WCTSMA) Competition and Symposium held in the Tri-Cities. The top scores for South Kitsap were: Walter Ross placing 28th and Shaymus Shaw placing 30th out of 207 students in the Sports Medicine category; Nate Anderson placed 16th out of 80 students in Anatomy & Physiology; Monica Ohman placed 28th out of 74 in Exercise Physiology; Rianna Pangelinan placed 22 out of 77 students in Medical Terminology; Deion Anderson placing 42nd out of 80 students in CPR; and Kendell Clauson placed 28th out of 131 students in the JV competition.  Kendell Clauson and Mattie Werder competed in the JV Quiz bowl and made it to the semi-finals, where they just missed out making it to the finals. Shaymus Shaw competed in the Ankle Speed Taping contest where he finished in the Top 20 out of 100 students.  Mr. Hiatt, the WCTSMA State Officer Director, helped run a lot of the competition and was named the “Gary Hirst Instructor of the Year for 2016”.  Lastly, the students and advisors toured the Central Washington University Campus on Thursday as part of the Athletic Medicine College Tour that was started last year.  Students attending were: Shaymus Shaw, Walter Ross, Lindsay Vallejo, Kelsey Lantrip, Alison Pieze, Monica Ohman, Makayla Ramirez, Nate Anderson, James Luke, Rianna Pangelinan, Deion Anderson, Monica Vo Nguyen, Kendell Clauson, and Mattie Werder. Advisors attending were Freda Evans, Jeff Spaulding, and Chris Hiatt.  Please congratulate these students and staff on a great competition after putting in many hours of studying after practices since January.  What a great program we continue to build…  Well done !! 

    Anya Fogel, a 9th grade student at Marcus Whitman Junior High, is headed to National History Day in Washington D.C. Eighteen South Kitsap students from all three junior high schools joined hundreds of students from all over Washington to participate in the State level competition at Green River College on Saturday, April 23. These eighteen students presented and placed during the Regional contest in March at Olympic College. Anya placed second for her Senior Individual Documentary, “The Birth Control Pill: Scientific Exploration and the Exchange of Ideals”. Kaitlyn Wright from John Sedgwick placed 3rd for her historical essay “Coming Out of the Bubble: The Treaty of Kanagawa, the Harris Treaty, and their Effects on Japan” and is a runner up for heading to nationals.  With the guidance of her Quest teacher, Mr. Tom O’Loughlin, Anya placed third her previous two years at the state competition, but she never gave up and this year, she did it! The National contest is June 12-16 in Washington D.C. There is a fundraiser planned to help Anya head to the National Contest at Blu-Berry Frozen Yogurt on Olney Rd, Monday, May 2 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    This past weekend, the Chamber Choir and Women's Ensemble performed at the Columbia Basin College Festival in Pasco. This is a great festival that attracts schools from all over the region. The Women's Ensemble, in their first year as an audition group, scored a Superior Rating and the Chamber Choir won their division! Dylan Macabitas received an Outstanding Musician Award!  The Highlighters and Women's Ensemble (now called The X-Chromatics) performed a jazz set on Saturday. The Highlighters received a Superior Rating but did not place and The X-Chromatics took 2nd Place!  They are in the midst of preparing a musical theater cabaret style show for the late spring. The kids are producing this show and doing most of the choreography and costuming. Two nights of rehearsals and two shows are coming!!  They do an incredible job in so many genres and come away from the program ready for collegiate level music. Many of the students, while not even considering music as a major, take the lessons they have learned here and do very well in various areas of post-secondary education. Students learn perseverance, teamwork, musicianship, leadership and how to be in front of people. They know how to emote, how to take criticism and have a multi-cultural world view. They have experienced history and world language in their music and understand the value of the past as well as creating for the future.  These are great lessons and wonderful preparation for life.

    A small group of Chamber Choir students will be performing at the State Ensemble Contest at Central Washington University this Friday. The Chamber Choir's mixed ensemble has participated at State every year that they have competed (17 of the last 18 years) at the regional festival. Only the top 16 ensembles in the state are selected for this honor and that is across every division of school size!  Also, tomorrow morning, the trombone trio and percussion ensemble will be traveling to Central Washington University to compete at State Solo and Ensemble.  The trombone trio will be defending their state win from last year and the percussion ensemble is hoping to be the first large group ensemble from South Kitsap to win state.  GO WOLVES! 

    Hidden Creek recently produced a couple of quick videos of 3rd grade IB in action! Their Unit of Inquiry is based on the 3rd grade science standards, their Central Idea is “Scientific advancements impact values, beliefs and attitudes of people” and their Line of Inquiry is “Early inventions that became machines”. In this video you will see the student’s Rube Goldberg machine  Video 1 and Video 2 .  Ms. Crisp and Ms. Clawson observed that student engagement and understanding is incredible in this unit. Staff were especially happy to see our ELL students digging deep into scientific vocabulary and taking risks with their learning.  Well done !!

    Ms. Lisa Wickens, teacher at Olalla Elementary, recently launched stage one of a non-profit community service organization called POP, Positive Olalla Projects, in the Olalla community. POP is a positive and progressive thinking community service group based in Olalla, Washington, The goal of this group is to encourage, celebrate, and support the people in our community through local service projects, events, and activities. The non-profit is in the very early stages, but more than 50 people attended the first town meeting. New Olalla Principal Ted Macomber has been very instrumental in getting many initial projects started simply by allowing me to follow my dream of bringing community service projects into the school. For information on POP or how to get involved, contact Lisa Wickens at wickens@skitsap.wednet.edu

    In an interesting article focused on the importance of visual mathematics, Stanford Report Touts Benefits of Visual Element to Math Education the research points to the need to incorporate visual components at all math levels, not simply entry level math coursework.  It is definitely worth a read. 

    On Monday, May 2, Representative Caldier will be at Cedar Heights as part of the Pathfinder Speaker series. One morning a month, a highly successful/influential individual is invited to visit the school and speak to a group of 70-100 students for approximately 15-20 minutes with additional time for questions. The speakers have an opportunity to share what they do, their own history, and what it took to get to where they are now.  The goal is help students to set their goals and dreams past high school by providing them opportunities to listen to and interact with real people who have journeyed through school just like them and found a path to achievement, success, and being a contributing asset to society.  We thank those community members who give of their time to support this work. 

    In closing, I love this quote and simply had to share it with you…“The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work superbly well.”—Sir William Osler (1849-1919); Canadian Physician, Founding Professor At Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Simple yet powerful practice that changes the world…

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/22/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    It has been another incredible weather week, and for that I am extremely grateful.  As this beautiful spring week winds down and we reach the end of this bond campaign election, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”  —Helen Keller (1880-1968)

    In an update on the district wildlife challenges, I want to share that our beaver population has been humanely relocated to a wilderness area.  In a recent report, it has been noted that “Do good and good things will come back to you…”  I think this is a fitting thought worthy of inspired replication.  I love this energy and idea. 

    I do want to share that the district-wide grade level reconfiguration is moving forward on schedule.  Mr. Jay Villars and Ms. Anita Chandler briefed Cabinet this past Monday on the recently written reports and committee plans for this work.  Various Cabinet members who have responsibilities for different facets of the transition process discussed timeline(s) and operational plans; e.g., moving of staff and materials, technology, room set-up, etc.  We will be distributing a detailed timeline in the coming weeks for all these activities.  If you have any input or feedback on this process, please contact Jay villars@skitsap.wednet.edu or Anita at their respective e-mail address chandler@skitsap.wednet.edu so that your thoughts, ideas and concerns can be incorporated into the planning timeline documents.  We know that prior planning will prevent poor performance and we want to make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible for all concerned.  Thank you. 

    We have amazing young men in our high school athletic program.  Last weekend, our baseball team played at Cheney Stadium and celebrated much more than baseball.  There are so many lessons our young people learn rather in the classroom or on the competition field.  Attitude reflects leadership and we are so fortunate to have the many coaches who spend countless hours teaching and supporting students outside the school day in a variety of sports and activities.  Thank you and well done !! 

    As the spring continues, the first of several administrative announcements is upon us.  It is my pleasure to announce that the new Olalla Principal will be Mr. Ted Macomber.  Ted began with South Kitsap School District as the Dean of Students at Cedar Heights Junior High School in the fall of 2014.  In this role, Ted was involved with ASB, School-Wide Student Culture (assemblies, student recognition systems), Building Leadership Team, and Special Education services.  In January 2016, Ted began as the Olalla Elementary Interim Principal.  He began his career in education as an elementary teacher at Valhalla Elementary School in Auburn, Washington in September 1999.  In September 2001, Ted transferred to a middle school teaching position with Saghalie Middle School in Federal Way, Washington.  While there he participated in a variety of activities, including Athletic Director, Chess Club Advisor, Building Webmaster and building-wide technology support specialist.  Ted then accepted an in-district promotion as the Academic Intervention Specialist (AIMS) at Totem Middle School in Kent, Washington in December 2006 and served in this role until June 2007.  Later, Ted taught at the intermediate elementary level and also served as the Assistant Principal for the Northwest School of Innovative Learning in Tacoma, Washington.  Ted received his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies in 1998 from the University of Washington – Tacoma.  He then earned his Master’s in Education and his Washington State Teaching Certificate from City University – Tacoma in 1999.  Ted obtained his Washington State Residency Administrator’s Certificate with Principal endorsement from City University – Fife in 2007.  Please congratulate Mr. Ted Macomber when you have occasion to see him. 

    Masonic Educator Awards

    Congratulations to the outstanding educators who were nominated and recognized as Masonic Teachers for 2015-2016. Lisa Wickens from Olalla Elementary was honored with the Masonic Teacher of the Year. Thank you all for your service and dedication to the students of South Kitsap School District.

    South Kitsap High School

    Noelle Mecl

    April Emerson

    Susie Nass

    Cedar Heights Junior High

    Kirsten Toth

    John Sedgwick Junior High

    Arnie Otterbeck

    Marcus Whitman

    Wayne Anderson

    Burley Glenwood

    Robert Thomsen

    East Port Orchard

    Heather Wilson

    Hidden Creek

    Theresa Johnson


    Erin Williams

    Mullenix Ridge

    Leann Georgeson


    Lisa Wickens*

    Orchard Heights

    Jackie Hall

    Eryn Carpenter

    South Colby

    Courtney Vetter

    Sidney Glen

    Sydney Oliver


    Amanda Paulin


    Barbara LaFerriere

    Ever want to take your whole school to the Pacific Science Center, but thought the cost would be too high? Well, on April 14th the Science Center came to South Colby. As part of the Pacific Science Center’s “Science on Wheels” program, South Colby was able to provide a fun learning opportunity in Engineering for all students. The day began with an all school assembly followed by classroom workshops, and a full science exhibit for kids to explore. Trained scientist from Pacific Science Center worked in the building all day giving South Colby students and teachers a hands on learning experience. It was an amazing STEM filled day!

    We have the announced Winter Sports Season – Scholar Athlete Award Winners,  which are the student athletes with the highest GPA during their season:

    Girls Basketball      Savannah Foster (4.0), Morgan Spangler (4.0)

    Boys Basketball     Eric Wattree (3.68)

    Wrestling              Kevin Morrison (4.0), Isaac Santos (4.0)

    Boys Swimming     Matthew Martin (4.0)

    Bowling                Libby Morey (3.5)

    Equestrian            Carley Stratton (3.6)

    Dance                  Madeline Hickle (4.0)

    Special Award: Senior Isaac Santos was named the Narrows League Scholar Athlete for the 2016 winter season by the principals of the schools in the Narrows League.

    As I was  reviewing the details for a recent speaking engagement, I came across this article regarding school construction and the physical condition of our schools in this country.  I thought the article timely…Report finds massive under-investment in nation's school buildings from The Washington Post.  

    Students from the High School, Discovery and the junior high schools joined 16,000 students from around the state at Key Arena to celebrate the community service projects they have done this year at Key Arena for WE day.   Builders of Unity, Key Club and Interact clubs joined together and had a global community service that was a drive for refuges for blankets in their “blanket for refugees” project and then tied this for their local project by collecting blankets for homeless students and donated them to Coffee Oasis.  Builders of Unity also received  $250 grant from WE day group for their upcoming dinner for homeless youth—a spaghetti dinner that they will serve to our homeless youth.  It is so impressive that the Key Arena was packed with 15,000 service volunteers and every single one of them is 18 and under!

    WE Day  

    The #THEYSAY project is a nationwide digital collage which encourages youth to say something good about themselves. The project is meant to empower youth to move past the words of critics, “They say I’m lazy…” or “They say we’re the entitled generation…” and instead tell their real story such as, “I’m making sure no one leaves school hungry, no matter what #theysay!”.  As a side note, Ellana Callahan (above with Mrs. Zawlocki) is a student at SKHS and a Key Club member. Ellana is willing to serve her community in any capacity including (but not limited to) helping with child care for Ready! for Kindergarten program, community clean-up events, volunteering for Kitsap Foster Care Association’s Ghost Train fundraiser, and our local & global blanket drives. 

    George Takei  

    Mr. George Takei told his story of being placed in a US internment camp during WWII simply because of his family’s Japanese ancestry. The government seized their home and business – they were left with nothing. Upon release, each family was given a one-way ticket to any place in the country and $20. He expressed how angry and betrayed he felt by the hands of his county. His father told him the idea of the United States democracy is right, but the democracy is only as good as the people running it. He then made George volunteer for a political campaign. George said his father taught him that if you want to see good in the world, you must be willing to go out there and make it happen yourself.  Still a true concept today…

    South Kitsap School District honored two hard working women who have devoted countless hours to the 2016 bond campaign at the Annual WASA Region 14 Awards. Thank you and congratulations to South Kitsap School Supporter Bond Co-Chairs Ms. Erica Juntunen and Ms. Tiffany Wilhelm.  

    Thank you to those of you who came out to the Threat Assessment Community Forum. Thank you also to Lt. Dave Okada from the Salem Police Department, Port Orchard Police Chief Marti, Port Orchard Police Officer Dave Humphrey, Kitsap County Sherriff Deputy Bernie Brown for speaking at the event. It is so important for our community to work together in a deliberate, methodical process to prevent acts of violence before they occur.  Also, a big thanks to all of those who are serving on the District Threat Assessment Task Force. 

    These are the final days of our Bond campaign. Please do not hesitate to contact me at bond2016@skitsap.wednet.edu with any questions or concerns you have over the bond to build a second high school and upgrade safety and technology at South Kitsap High. Kitsap County has added two additional ballot drop locations: at the Fircrest Fire Station at 1794 Fircrest Drive SE and the Glenwood Fire Station at 7990 McCormick Woods Drive SW. Return your ballot as soon as possible but no later than April 26.


    Enjoy another beautiful week-end.

    Warmest regards,  

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/15/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a fantastic week we are having.  I am so relieved to be over the wind and torrential rain !!  Well, on to the great news from all parts of this amazing district. 

    Over Spring Break the SKHS Chamber Choir and Advanced Women's Ensemble traveled to New York to perform at Queens College and Carnegie Hall. The adjudicated performance at Queens College by nationally renowned directors netted the Chamber Choir a Superior rating. The choirs participated in a Broadway choreography workshop, had multiple vocal workshops and visited many different historical and arts related sites. The performance at Carnegie Hall featured 11 choirs from around the country in spotlight and mass choir settings culminating with a world premiere performance of Z. Randall Stroope's, Dance For Love.  Well done !!

    Our second year South Kitsap Equestrian Team is proud to announce that they medaled at the district level and will be competing at the WAHSET State Meet in May 2016!!  Equestrian Head Coach Geri Hildebrand observed, “I am very pleased with our season and cannot wait to grow our team for next year! These amazing Athletes are dedicated to their sport and their hard work has paid off. I am proud to have been a part of their journey to success!”  The District Placings... Showmanship

    1st Alternate Shawna Hettick; Dressage Gold medal Winner - Carley Stratton, Bronze Medal winner- Abigail Saar, and Alternate - Shawna Hettick; Working Rancher

    1st alternate - Rabekah Raub; Working pairs 1st Alternate - Carley Stratton, Shawna Hettick; In Hand Obstacle Relay Bronze Medal Winners,Team A- Kalli Daviscourt, Carley Stratton, Shawna Hettick,Ashlee Thomas; and Key Hole State Qualifier - Brenna McIntyre. 

    The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is for low and middle income students from Washington state that are pursuing a high demand STEM bachelor degree.

    The scholarship is worth up to $22,500 (over five years) and there are anticipated to be 1450 scholarships awarded statewide in 2016 to high school seniors and college freshman and sophomores.  These scholarships may be used at 67 colleges or universities in Washington state. Applicants must be pursuing a bachelor degree in a high demand STEM field; there are over 150 eligible majors that qualify for the scholarship. Mr. Dave Reichel, and Ms. Sandy Elton deserve a huge congratulations as they are the driving force behind this data and did a large amount of the prep work.  We’re excited to see how many of these close to ninety South Kitsap students get this scholarship.  Again, this is a testament to all those teachers (K-12) and innumerable support staff (K-12) who have taught and supported these students over the years and our great CTE Program.  This is hope in action and the high expectations for our high support.  Well done !! 

    The Family and Consumer Sciences department have some exciting news to share!  Nine South Kitsap students from our student leadership organization, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, recently attended the State Conference in Wenatchee along with 70 other schools throughout the state. Students attended leadership training sessions and key note speakers as well as competing.  Six of the nine competed at State and earned Gold in their respective categories: April Zangari in Early Childhood Education Senior Category; Cassie Peeler and Rianna Pangelinan in Illustrated Talk Occupational Category; Hannah Petersen and Austin Gese in Illustrated Talk Senior Category; and Nate Anderson in Sports Nutrition Senior Category,  Well done !!  Hannah Petersen and Austin Gese (see attached photo) also ran and were elected as State Officers for the 2016-2017 school year. We are super proud of all of them!

    Congratulations to our South Kitsap senior scholar-athletes who recently signed their letters of intent to continue to participate in sports at the collegiate level.  For Track & Cross Country: Albert McArthur – Utah Valley University, UT. NCAA Div. 1; Nate Anderson – Whitworth University, WA. NCAA Div. 3; Isaac Santos - Whitworth University, WA. NCAA Div. 3. For Soccer: Sarah Parkinson - Corbin University, OR. NAIA (not pictured). For Basketball: Eric Wattree – Eastern Washington University, WA. NCAA Div. 1. For Baseball: Hunter Riley – University of Puget Sound, WA. NCAA Div. 3; Jack Shaffer – Olympic College. Community College; Dan Tomkiewicz – Olympic College. Community College; Alec Johnson - Olympic College. Community College (not pictured).  Go Wolves!! 

    South Colby had three students who entered the State Science Fair in Bremerton on April 1.  The three boys were Bryce Richmond (6th grade), Aidan Haro (5th grade) and Matthew Hickle (4th grade).  All three young men placed - Bryce and Aidan received  3rd place in their respective grades, and Matthew received 2nd.  Aidan Haro was also awarded a Special Medicine and Health Award.  Well done !!

    This week, Manchester first grade students are on their way to Africa in a manner of speaking. They will spend the next month or so reading, writing, and researching about Africa. The teachers, Ms. Deanna Buzzell and Ms. Michele Noble, are incredibly creative and really make the research and trip fun and engaging for students.

    Part of the simulation includes identifying and preparing their passports and boarding passes for travel, going through security at the airport, on the plane, and then meeting the Queen in England during their layover (lunch/recess), all before landing in Africa. There are many parents that have been involved and it is a fun unit of study.  Later they will go on a safari and look for animals they've learned about.  I look forward to going on a safari with them in the near future.  Well done !!

    Cedar Heights Junior High was recognized last night as a Center for Educational Effectiveness 2015 School of Distinction. The annual program recognizes schools that have made the biggest improvement in reading and mathematics during a five-year period. This award is given to the top five percent of schools in each level – elementary, middle, and high school – that, as a result of improving their students’ skills, have more students achieving at higher levels on the Measures of Student Progress (3rd - 8th grade), the High School Proficiency Exam in Reading and the End of Course Exam in mathematics (10th grade). This distinction is sponsored by the Center for Educational Effectiveness, the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Association of Washington School Principals, Phi Delta Kappa-Washington Chapter, Washington Association of School Administrators, Washington State Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Washington State School Directors’ Association. A complete list of all Schools of Distinction can be found on the CEE website at www.effectiveness.org.  Well done !! 

    Several individuals were recognized with NIB awards at the board meeting last night for walking the talk of the district’s vision statement of nurturing growth, inspiring achievement, and building community. View the photo gallery of all the NIB winners for this school year.  Thank you and Well done !!

    Please join me at the District and Community Threat Assessment Safety Forum at 6:00pm on Wednesday, April 20 at South Kitsap High School. Threat assessment is the collaborative community effort to identify individuals who pose a risk of violent behavior and offer resources to intervene and prevent acts of violence.  Many members of our district staff have worked hard in preparation for this preventive program work for the coming year.  Thank you and I look forward to seeing you there.    

    I wanted to share a photo of the Mullenix Ridge entry this week as we celebrate National Volunteer Appreciation Week.  We appreciate our volunteers!  In other great student news, Kiwanis of Port Orchard honored students of the month. The students are nominated by teachers and other school staff and are recognized at a luncheon with their families.  Congratulations to Alec Matala and Whitney Bolar from South Kitsap High School and Emily Riehl from John Sedgwick Junior High for being honored as Students of the Month by the Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard. We are thrilled to have both these amazing students and community partnerships.  Well done !! 

    I wanted to take a moment to personally invite you to the ‘Tribute To Our Troops’ baseball game between South Kitsap High School and Gig Harbor High School at Cheney Stadium on Saturday April 16th.  The Elton Goodwin Memorial Foundation has worked with members of the GH Booster Club to provide special edition camo-print uniforms for all 48 players and coaches from each school; and to honor our local fallen heroes, each of these jerseys will bear the Name & Rank of a Troop from the Kitsap and Key Peninsulas who gave their life during Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Vietnam, or the Korean War.  We will also have some families of these fallen Troops at the game, and a few players from each school will have the distinction of representing a Troop whose family is in attendance.  Following the game, and the MVP Awards, a short ceremony will take place whereby those players present their jerseys to those families who are in attendance.  As our guests of honor, these families will be seated in the ‘Dugout Club’ directly behind home plate along with Representative Jesse Young, his staff, and other State and Military Officials WA State Representative Jesse Young will be delivering the pre-game keynote address; and this will be followed by a presentation of the Colors by the South Kitsap NJROTC, and the National Anthem by the SK Choir.  This if the first year of what we, and the Tacoma Rainiers hope to make an annual event, and we could not be more excited about having our neighboring Gig Harbor Tides as our inaugural partner.  Please come out and support this inaugural event.  Go Wolves !!

    Our Spanish speaking families are invited to an informational event this Sunday, April 17, at 1:00 pm at the SKSD administration building.  There will be refreshments, prizes, and activities for kids!  I will be present and will share information and answer questions about school programs and facilities.  Ms. Martitha May, from the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center, will also be present to share information and answer questions.  Please share this information with your families. 

    As this spring moves forward, I am reminded of one of my favorite spring quotes, “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I might have. ”   —Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th U.S. President

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/1/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What an amazing wind and storm free week !!  A big thank you to all of you supporting and engaging in parent conferences this week.  I know the level of preparation it takes to support a robust parent conference and have heard from many parents how grateful they are to have this opportunity to be updated on their child’s progress.  This feedback is a critical characteristic of our parent school partnership that supports academic and social success for each of our children – no exceptions. 

    I love the ingenuity of the Romanian Soccer Team Romanian Soccer Team Replaces Jersey Numbers With Math Problems as they do their part to support mathematical reasoning for children in Romania.  What an interesting idea.  During games however, the jerseys are swapped out for ones with just the answers – easier for the referees ???  Hmmmmm. 

    On behalf of the Association of Washington Middle Level Principals (AWMLP), I wish to extend sincere congratulations to Dr. Andrew Cain on his receipt of the 2015-2016 Principal of the Year for Olympic ESD. The contributions Andrew has made to Cedar Heights, the students and our community are noteworthy and deserving of recognition. The responsibilities of principals are many and significant but too often go unrecognized.  To recognize this honor, as a Principal of the Year for Olympic ESD,  Andrew and the other regional honorees from around the State will be specially recognized at the AWSP/WASA Summer Conference, June 26-28, 2016 at the Spokane Convention Center.  They will be presented with awards honoring their contributions to education as middle level principals.  Well Done !!

    The SKHS Lady Wolves placed 2nd in Dance out of 21 dance teams who made it to the WIAA 4A State Championships. They also placed 5th in Hip Hop, which is the highest placing ever for SK since they started placings in 2001. Special congratulations to senior Tamara Medal who made it into the top 15 in Drill Down, and Michelle Dean for being awarded the Kaitlyn Rebstock Memorial Scholarship. Great job on a fantastic season Ladies!

    One of my colleagues at the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Executive Director Dr. Bill Keim, recently authored a blog that I think deserves a careful read.  His new blog article entitled, “What Will Washington Become” can be accessed at http://billsblog-wasa.weebly.com/blog-entries/what-will-washington-become .  The blog reviews disturbing data points about our State and its support for education.  A very provocative read…. 

    A big thank you to all those in the district who planned, taught or attended the professional development classes this past week.  These efforts in a variety of educational topic areas are so important to share with one another and helps to keep us attuned to contemporary research and methods.  Well done. 

    You can't make this up. We recently received a complaint from the owner of the storage yard next to the high school that beaver(s) were cutting down trees on our property and falling them into his property. As you'll notice from the embedded photos, they have been pretty busy building their dam. We're in contact with Fish & Wildlife who are working with us for a humane live trapping and relocation project.... 

    Come watch our South Kitsap team of teachers, principals, support staff and community members face the Harlem Wizards basketball team early next month.  The proceeds benefit the South Kitsap PTSA Council.  The Harlem Wizards are coming to Port Orchard on Thursday, April 14th at South Kitsap High School. Doors will open at 5:30 pm with the game starting at 6:30 pm. Please join the South Kitsap PTSA Council and help make this the event of the year for our school and community. You and your family will have a great time attending the Harlem Wizards Slamtastic Tour event. You will also be helping us raise money for the South Kitsap PTSA Council. Tickets are on sale at www.harlemwizards.com  Go SK Team !! 

    It has been another good week for SKHS sports!  In the world of track and field, we hosted our first track meet on our turf field and resurfaced track.  The meet went very well and the facility received rave reviews from the coaches and athletes.  The SK boys defeated Stadium 108-37 and the Lady Wolves won by a score of 105-27.  Last Saturday, our girls’ lacrosse team won their first game in program history, with an 8-3 victory over Spanaway Lake High School.  The boys lacrosse team is on a two game win streak, after a come from behind victory last night at Kitsap Bank Stadium.  The boys were down 2-0 early in the first quarter, took a 4-2 into halftime, but then exploded for 7 unanswered goals in the 3rd quarter on route to a 14-4 victory over Port Angeles.  Alex Scott lead the Wolves with 6 goals and 5 assists.  Girls tennis defeated Wilson 3-2 in a close match yesterday on the SK courts.  Fastpitch pounded out an 11-1 victory over Stadium at SK.  Baseball defeated Olympia 6-2 yesterday down in Olympia.  Fastpitch, baseball, boys’ soccer, girls’ water polo, and girls’ tennis are all competing at away sites for the rest of the week as we roll into spring break.  Thank goodness the weather has lightened up.  Go Wolves !! 

    We had our Community Forum for Bond Facts last night at the high school.  We reviewed a PowerPoint presentation and engaged in significant dialog with those community members who attended.  During the past weeks, our intrepid video and film production crew worked tirelessly with me to produce a video that illustrates a fact based overview for the bond – a big thanks to them for their dedication and work.  Please take a moment to watch our South Kitsap Bond video and share with your friends.  

    Spots are filling up for the 2016-17 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  As our elementary enrollment continues to climb, it is more important than last year to get registration forms in soon to secure a place in the program for the upcoming year as there are limited student spots.  The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools  provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    I trust each of you will be enjoying a well-earned Spring Break this coming week, and if you are working, please know we appreciate the work you are doing to support our great district.  It is so important to stop and be still at times in our lives - the capacity to note the changing of the seasons, the joy of sharing time with family and friends, and the small moments that we miss in the otherwise crowded and noisy culture we live and work in.  And what a gift that March is going out like a lamb….


    Go Lambs,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/25/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap, 

    I trust this note finds you enjoying a glorious March spring week.  At least the weather has been a bit less turbulent !!  Again, the world seems to be in turmoil with the tragedy in Brussels.  It is important to note that even in these times of darkness, there continue to be innumerable acts of compassion, kindness and generosity.  These stories amidst the backdrop of terror affirm the strength and basic decency of the human spirit.  We can draw strength from the light shown by so many…

    On March 21, 2016, Quest students from all three South Kitsap School District Junior High Schools competed in the Regional History Day Contest at Olympic College. They competed with students from schools from the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. Eighteen students were selected to move up and participate in the State History Day Contest on April 23 at Green River Community College. The History Day theme this year is “Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History.”  Well done !!

    It is bittersweet to report that our Olalla Elementary School Principal, Ms. Charlotte Flynn, has announced her retirement.  Ms. Flynn began her career with South Kitsap School District in the Fall of 1989 as a part-time Title teacher with Olalla Elementary.  Charlotte then transferred to Mullenix Ridge Elementary and was there from September 1990 – June 2008 and taught in a full-time teaching capacity, grades two through sixth.  During this time, Charlotte earned her National Board Certification and mentored several cohorts of teachers working on their Washington State Professional Certification.  She then transferred to East Port Orchard Elementary in September 2008 and worked collaboratively with the staff as Head Teacher and Instructional Specialist while preparing for her administration certification, which she received in June 2010 from the University of Washington – Tacoma.   Charlotte earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with Honors from the University of Texas in 1973 and her Master’s in Education from the University of Oregon in June 1979.  After Charlotte received her Principal Certificate, she served as the Sidney Glen Elementary Assistant Principal from August 2010 through June 2013.  She then became the Principal of Olalla Elementary in July 2013 and is completing her third year in this role.  While at Olalla, she and her staff have focused on building community and have actively worked to achieve outstanding learning gains for all students and have implemented Project Lead the Way as they move deeply into STEM instruction and philosophy.  Even with her current medical challenges, Charlotte is demonstrating the best of the human spirit, and continues to be full of light, grace and joy and a source of strength and inspiration to all those who know her.  We will be posting the position and working to hire a principal for the future in the coming weeks.  Thank you for your years of dedicated service Charlotte, and all the best !! 

    In other retirement news, Ms. Judy Ecklund, our outstanding and long-time Food and Nutrition Services Central Kitchen Cook and Baker, is retiring after 30 years with the District.  There is little of greater importance to our students and staff than healthy and tasty food.  Judy has been part of the team that has prepared the food in our district for thousands of students and staff over her three decade career.  It takes each of our contributions to make South Kitsap the great school district that it is.  Thank you for your years of dedicated service Judy, and all the best !! 

    “Gallup data reveal a strong relationship between states' economic conditions and residents' perceptions that their public education systems are providing high-quality education that will prepare students for workplace success. Public education systems require strong financial support at the state and local level, and challenging economic conditions can make it more difficult to provide the funding required for schools to deliver a high-quality education. Additionally, students living in states with higher unemployment rates may face different challenges in finding a good job.”   This link  Gallup: State-by-state poll on how positive residents are about schools has interesting and provocative data ripe for discussion.  “Nationally, leaders continuously suggest programmatic changes to improve the quality of education in the U.S. Gallup data suggest that Americans believe a key component of a high-quality education is providing students with skills that can easily transfer to the workplace.”   Interestingly, 89% of North Dakota residents rate schools as excellent or good, while Nevada and New Mexico residents are the least positive about their schools.

    Registration is open for the spring sessions of Ready! for Kindergarten. This program is so valuable to the wee ones in our community and offers important resources to parents. Parents are the first and most important teachers for our students and Ready! helps to ensure that our students are getting a strong start to their education.

    Despite the challenging weather conditions we have had some brave athletes battle the elements this past week.  Track and Field had their first meet of the year. The Varsity men’s team beat Bellarmine Prep 75 – 55 and the Varsity women’s team were narrowly beaten 67-69.  Our first, and only, home track meet is this Tuesday, March 29th Kitsap Bank Stadium at 3:30pm.  Men’s and Ladies golf all managed to get in a couple of rounds on flooded greens and are scoring well.  Men’s Soccer, Ladies Water polo, even Tennis, Fastpitch and Baseball have all played at least one or two matches.  The coaches and players are adapting well to competing in scuba gear;>)   We eagerly anticipate the home opener for Varsity Baseball, with a little sunshine and minimal wind in the forecast, our hopes are high! 

    The South Kitsap men’s and ladies Lacrosse teams both made SK Athletics history with their debut matches this past week.  On Sunday, the ladies fought bravely in a two game tournament hosted by WA High school Lacrosse Association at Marymoor Park.  According to coach Greg Pickard, “the team is getting better each game, it will just take time and experience to clean up the fundamentals and we will be a great team!”   Coach Julius Ifurung said of the boys team, “it’s a great learning opportunity, we have 24 first year players on the roster who have never played before”  The boys team were certainly dressed for the occasion, attending school in shirts and ties the day before their home opener www.skitsap.wednet.edu/skboyslacrosse .  Go Wolves !!

    Bethany La Deaux, niece of our very own Lee and Emma LaDeaux, is an 11 year old fifth grader in Ms. Vetter’s class at South Colby Elementary. Bethany has written her first 133 page book titled Unspoken. Her novel is published and can be purchased on Amazon for $4.99 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=unspoken+bethany+la+deaux   Look for it on the New York Times best seller list soon!  Well done. 

    The South Kitsap Dance team competed at the Nationals Competition in Anaheim, CA over the weekend and brought home some new trophies for their showcase, placing 3rd in Dance, 3rd in Kick & 8th in a very competitive Hip Hop category. Congratulations to Kayla Bozinski & Tamara Medal for making the Top 15 in Drill Down out of hundreds of dancers! The Dance team heads over to the Yakima Sun Dome today to compete in the WA State Championships. Go Wolves !!

    Please join us for a community informational event about the April 26 bond. The community informational night event will be next week on Wednesday, March 30, at 6:00 pm at the high school in the theatre. Members of the school board and I will be on hand to answer your questions about our bond to build a second high school.

    Recently, I have been out in schools for my spring round of Breakfast Club meetings with students.  This is so enlightening as the students often have intriguing observations, insights and ideas.  During my recent visit to Orchard Heights, I had occasion to visit with students in Ms. Susan Hinckley-Porter’s class.  We discussed the topic of the upcoming middle and high school grade configuration moves.  They had some great observations and ideas which we will review and integrate into our plans.  I really appreciate the opportunity to hear from students and am always impressed with their engagement, candor and optimism.  Thank you.

    “While the Maker Movement continues to grow, it hasn't yet gained its greatest traction, which currently sits untapped in the minds of the students in front of us. Through forming partnerships with community makerspaces or building a school makerspace, educators and decision makers everywhere have the rare chance to help bring this truly all-inclusive learning experience into their schools, districts, and communities in order to help all students. Here are four ways that the "new industrial revolution" will help your students succeed and help breathe life back into your craft.”  Edutopia: Makerspaces lead to school and community successes  This is a movement that is catching on all over the country.  Here in South Kitsap, we are blessed to have a team of innovative entrepreneurs right here in our high school.  More to come on these staff members who are thinking out of the box about teaching and learning…

    As we recently lost author, Harper Lee (To Kill A Mockingbird) I thought it appropriate to be reminded of one of her favorite sayings; “As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.”  —Harper Lee (1926-2016) 

    As we approach the holiday week-end, I wish for each of you a peace filled and joyful week-end. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/18/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!  As I was in several schools today, it was clear that there was a great deal of green spirit out there.  One of the more noteworthy was Mr. Joe Riley, Principal at South Colby, with a strong Irish fashion statement today ;>)  Two of our Transportation Department members, Mr. Larry Durfee and Karen, were noticed sporting the green last night at the Board meeting.  I hope that you have found the time to catch the sunrise this morning and will in the coming days.  It is so special during this time of the year as we move from the seasons of darkness to the seasons of more light.  March is such a month of contradictions.

    In keeping with the holiday today, I was reminded of the Irish quote; “"In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs." — Sir John Pentland Mahaffy.  This quote seems particularly timely these past few weeks.  I want to take a moment and share some thoughts regarding the recent weather issues and power outages.  I want to begin by apologizing for the conditions we have on several days found ourselves in.  While everyone has worked beyond hard to make sure we are safe and as comfortable as possible, it has still been a real challenge for staff in various schools over the last couple of weeks and I recognize these conditions are not optimal for learning.  I want you to know that on the mornings of these challenging days, I am up at 4:00 am and on the phone with our Facilities and Transportation Directors shortly thereafter.  They in turn are on the phone with PSE, our school custodial staff and facilities staff, as well as the County road crews (when they haven’t been driving the roads personally).  We get the best information possible from these sources as to the restoration time for power, road conditions, etc.  If the word is that power cannot be restored within a reasonable time, then I will make the decision to close that school for the day as we did this fall in several instances.  If the PSE information is that the power can be restored fairly quickly, then we are deploying emergency facility equipment to sites for support until the power comes up.  On the recent Monday of this week, after careful consultation with the aforementioned staff, I chose to have the district have a two hour late start for several reasons.  First and foremost, it was the first school day with daylight savings time and so the morning commute was darker than it had been in a while and we were notified that there was significant debris on the roads.  Given that the first school to start is the high school, I did not want students or staff driving on debris strewn roads in the dark.  Further, PSE indicated that with a two hour late start we would have the schools without power ‘re-energized by late start times’.  Unfortunately, at one of the schools, John Sedgwick, only the portables were powered when school started as PSE encountered unforeseen issues during their repair.  This is not the first time that the projected power up times have been inaccurate; e.g., Manchester and Marcus Whitman two weeks ago.  On the other hand, the projections have been spot on or earlier for many of the schools in the district with similar power issues this winter.  Suffice it to say, this is not an exact science and our capacity to quickly assimilate emergency information and make student safety decisions prior to bus route time constraints with close to a hundred routes being run, is challenging.  While I am hopeful that this anomalous weather is behind us, I would welcome any of you who would like to convene a committee to look at this challenge and provide feedback and suggestions for future planning to please respond to me and I will set up a time for us to meet and work through concerns so I can improve this aspect of our district support.  Thank you. 

    Governor Inslee proclaimed March 14-18 as Washington State Classified Staff Appreciation Week. We recognized our dedicated PSE and SEIU employees at the board meeting last night, with Board President Mr. Greg Wall congratulating Presidents Ms. Vivian Jensen (PSE) and Mr. Michael Laxson (SEIU) and we again thank all of you for your hard work behind the scenes and on the front lines supporting the students of our district.  Well done and thank you.  Governor Inslee also proclaimed March 14-18 as School Retirees Appreciation Week. Many of our former staff members remain active in our schools and we appreciate their continued service to support our students.  I meet monthly with a group of retirees at our Communication Roundtable where all school retirees are welcome to attend. I so appreciate the insight and perspective on district issues and initiatives while also better understanding the strong traditions of the district.   

    It has been a great science month thus far in the district.  I attended Science Fairs at both Manchester Elementary and East Port Orchard Elementary in the past two weeks.  The gyms were full and students, families, and staff were enthralled with the projects displayed and the scientific thinking made visible.  I was particularly intrigued with the bread mold experiments and pet food comparisons.  I was interested to note that Mr. Moo, the feline subject, identified Gravy Lovers as a favorite ;>)    

    On Friday 3/11/16 all of South Colby became a multi-age STEAM school! Brought back by popular demand, the South Colby staff and over 20 community experts put on Choices Day. Students in grades K-3 worked in different activities in the morning until lunch time and students in grades 4-6 participated in classes all day. Classes offered for intermediate were Grossology Science, Pancakes (cooking), QR Codes, Movie Making, Salmon Art, Sumi-e’  Japanese Art, Bridge Building/Structural Engineering, Wool Painting, Ocean Advocacy, Stream Table, Earthquake Engineering, and Coding. Class offerings for primary were Zip line building, Dragon drawing combining shapes and use of pastels, Balloon power car building, Structural engineering, and Balancing and measurements using balloons and helium. It was a great learning day with students and teachers exhilarated by the innovative possibilities.  I also enjoyed the Project-based learning and engagement evident everywhere!!

    The School Board recognizes that hosting our meetings requires extra effort on the part of school staff and so we would like to thank the Sunnyslope staff for their hospitality last night.  Thank you also to Ms. Jennifer Meadows and the talented Sunnyslope Elementary Star Choir for providing wonderful entertainment at the board meeting last night.  The young voices were well tuned and the audience present had a real performance treat.  Well done.  Not to be outdone, this evening, the first and second graders at Sidney Glen put on a fantastic exhibition of the classic Puss ‘n Boots dramatic literary production.

    I want to share our continued excitement over our incredible enrollment story. With regard to current student enrollment news, our March 1, 2016, head count was 9,782.  This is up from prior years for this time of the year, and for the first time in many years growing from February to March, which continues to demonstrate a healthy growth in the district and community.  The enrollment chart for FTE student count is the chart for which we receive state funding.  This is such great news for our district as it enables us to be more stable in our planning and resource decision making.  I was recently in a meeting where the following data was shared.  In the Puget Sound region, the population over the last year continues to grow at the rate of seven people per hour.  Jobs are growing at the rate of nine jobs per hour.  Of the ten fastest growing cities in the Puget Sound Region, only one is listed on the Kitsap Peninsula and that is Port Orchard.  Wow, that is worth thinking about…

    Save the date for an upcoming Town Hall Meeting to discuss Threat Assessment at 6:00p.m. on April 20 at South Kitsap High School. The District Threat Assessment Committee will be hosting the event. Threat assessment is a methodical investigative process that evaluates whether a person poses a threat to others. It is based on the premise that targeted violence is preventable and is the result of a discernable process.  This work is patterned after the Salem-Kaizer model which is well known and has been successful in preventing violence and supporting young people in getting the help they need.  The District Threat Assessment Committee met and finalized plans for the Level 1 district training  to be held March 30th at Marcus Whitman Junior High School. This training will be for school site teams and will include administrators, deans, counselor, head teachers, security personnel, psychologists and nurses. The training will be provided by Mr. Neal Perrine, psychologist at South Kitsap High School. The threat assessment process is a preventative strategy to assist our students and provide help and resources before a crisis would occur. All parties are key in identifying symptoms and triggers so that we can make sure that our schools and community are safe. This model of a process for threat assessment was developed by educators and law enforcement in Salem/Kaiser Oregon. Threat assessment trainer, Lieutenant Dave Okada, from the Salem Kaiser Police Department will be at this event to provide an overview for the community regarding this process.

    We continue to work on educating the community on the facts of the upcoming bond. There are two simple videos posted on our website that explain some bond basics. What is a Bond and What is a Levy? explains the difference between bonds and levies.  Property Taxes 101 shows how property taxes are calculated and how they are affected when new homes are built and if bonds and levies are approved.   We hope that these short videos help explain these often complex topics. 

    As we close out this week, please remember to be gentle with yourselves and one another as we cope with at times heartbreaking losses and challenges.  In thinking about this, I want to share the following information in light of our recent tragic loss at the high school Talking to your kids about suicide as it is often difficult to talk about these emotional issues.  If you would like more information or support with this topic, please contact me or the counselor at your school.  Remember that we in South Kitsap are each linked to one another and are all uniquely gifted to support the children in this great district and community.   May that peace that passes all understanding be a part of all of our upcoming days and the joy of the spring season soon be upon us. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/11/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    Well, it has certainly continued to be a most blustery week…  Even Piglet is a bit weary of the wind.

    Windy Day  

    I want to point out that our Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Team prepares, delivers and serves a daily average of 1,600 breakfasts and 5,000 lunches at 17 school sites, one private school and nine ECEAP/ Headstart programs. FNS utilizes six different menus with multiple options and personalizes menus for students with dietary restrictions on a daily basis.   On our stormy Thursday with multiple power outages, the 60 dedicated Food and Nutrition Services team members prepared and served meals on time.   Due to the power outage, the Central Kitchen staff worked by lantern lights to prepare all the deli sandwiches and salads for the secondary schools. The elementary school menu was revised with products delivered and prepared at the schools. In addition to the daily menu, the team prepared 600 sandwiches for two schools who did not have power or heating capabilities.  This is one of many examples of the teamwork, professionalism and service, the Food and Nutrition Services Team exhibits daily to support our students and staff.  Well done !!

    Next week, it Classified Public School Employee Week.  It is a great time to recognize the many and varied contributions of these important members of our South Kitsap staff family.  We are so blessed to have so many amazing professional staff partners involved in all aspects of our school district.  Thank you for your dedication. 

    Congratulations to Mr. Earl Short, our beloved custodian from South Colby Elementary, for receiving four nominations and being selected as the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Classified Star Staff Member for the first quarter. Congratulations to Ms. Stephanie Winslow, an innovative, dedicated, and hard-working teacher from Cedar Heights Junior High, for being selected as the Certificated Star Staff Member.   Well done !!

    With the wild weather, it is clear that spring sports season is upon us.  At the high school level, we have an unprecedented number of student athletes turning out as part of our Wolf Pack.  Her are the numbers for spring sports:

    Boys Golf & Girls Golf         19

    Boys & Girls Lacrosse         55

    Girls Water Polo                 27

    Girls Tennis                       76

    Boys Soccer                      54

    Baseball                           45

    Fastpitch                          41

    Boys & Girls Track             160

    TOTAL                             477        

    What a great number!   That is close to 20% of our student population (9-12).  Thank you coaches.  Keep up the great work and Go Wolves !!  Further, we are so excited about our highly successful dance team that is just now rolling into their post season.  They will be competing this Saturday in the West Central District Championships and then on to the USA Nationals in Southern California the following week.  Go Wolves and know we are so proud of your efforts !!

    The Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard recently honored a wonderful group of Students of the Month. The students are nominated by teachers and administrators at each secondary school and invited to a catered lunch with their family. Kevin Ranganbay from John Sedgwick, Hailey Love from Marcus Whitman, Connor Sauby and Kendra Miller from South Kitsap High School were all recognized.

    We had great reviews from last night's band concert at Cedar Heights.  Several folks have commented that their favorite part was when the 5th-9th graders performed a Harry Potter piece together.   The younger students were so excited to see the potential of their growth.  Great job and well done !!  The Sunnyslope Superstars were engineers all day Tuesday thanks to a Sunnyslope PTA sponsored Pacific Science Center visit.    Innovation is bursting out everywhere !! 

    Hard work, time, and effort paid off for fifteen students at John Sedgwick Junior High when they received their Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint Certification. “This is the first year that the Microsoft Imagine Academy has offered free Microsoft certifications to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. It’s an amazing opportunity for our students to obtain industry-aligned certifications,” commented Assistant Director of Career and Technical Education Greg Kilpatrick. The students are all enrolled in Computing Dynamics taught by Tom Schmuck. The three primary topics of focus in the class are digital literacy, using computers to manage information and solve problems, and how computers impact society.  The class is one of 90 Career and Technical Education courses offered in South Kitsap School District. CTE offers a unique opportunity to engage students in an enormous variety of subjects, incorporating academic, creative and technical skills, with the specific goal of preparing students for all of life that comes after high school.  “My students tend to arrive with a basic foundation of digital knowledge. Growing those skill sets and directing their energy for career purposes allow for meaningful connections to the world of work and a stepping stone to a career pathway,” stated Schmuck. “Early industry standard certification builds self-confidence and opens doors for current and future opportunities.”  You have to love the innovative spirit!!  Well done!! 

    South Kitsap School District’s winter session of READY! for Kindergarten was a record breaker! We saw an increase of almost 100 adults attend our last training.  326 families attended the training over four days. A total of 413 adults learned how they can talk, sing, read and play with their child in simple ways that foster essential literacy, math and social-emotional skills that a typical 5-year-old needs to meet common core standards.  We also had 23 teen volunteers who assisted staff in providing child care for 277 children so their parents could attend the training.   So many thanks to Ms. Marcia Coyne and her crew for their leadership of this important work for the future of our community.  This is truly a gift for so many of our South Kitsap families. 

    The countdown is on to have the opportunity to celebrate Pi Day on Monday, March 14.  Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π. Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. It is simply circumference over diameter…  In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.  If you would like, there are many ways to celebrate such as bring your favorite pie to share at work and also participate in some fun Pi Day activities (i.e. Pi Haiku and Einstein Trivia).  Interestingly, Pi Day is Einstein’s birthday, too!  http://www.piday.org/  for more ideas ;>) 

    Finally, as if all that is not enough, I would like to share a thoughtful, yet provocative quote from my one of my favorites; “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely acknowledge the change it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou 

    Enjoy a peaceful and energizing week-end before Pi Day.

    All the best,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/4/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What another blustery week.  It must be true that March comes in like a lion, and then out, (of course you guessed it), like a lamb ;>)  Thank you to so many staff at the schools that lost power, had trees blow over, experienced rain soaked campuses, etc.  Also, a special thanks to our Facilities, IT and Transportation staff who worked tirelessly to keep our schools and students safe these past few days, and our Food & Nutrition Department for keeping us fed without power.  Well done !!

    Judging for Olympic ESD 114's 2016 Regional High School Art Show has been completed and South Kitsap High School has a winner!  RaeAnna Gottlieb’s “Unity of Hands” has been chosen by Central Washington University to receive a $1000.00 Scholarship Award.  RaeAnna Gottlieb is a senior in the AP 2D Studio Art – Photography class.  According to her amazing SKHS teacher, Ms. Cathy Duttry, “the ‘concentration’ section of her AP portfolio is on hands; she is a gifted photographer and an all-around wonderful young adult.”   Well Done !!

    Congratulations to the NIB award winners that were recognized at last night’s board meeting. A photo gallery of NIB awards is on our district website.  Also, after a three year process and tireless work by staff, South Kitsap High School is now an authorized World School Diploma Program for International Baccalaureate. Principal Jerry Holsten and Associate Principal Casey Ogan presented the school board with the authorization letter at the board meeting last night. Official IB classes will begin in the 2016 - 2017 school year at South Kitsap High School and the graduating class of 2018 will have the opportunity to earn IB diplomas.  Well done !!

    The results of a Herculean effort by the outstanding Career Center and counseling  staff of South Kitsap High School are clear in the number of Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) applicants filed by SKHS students this year.  In what looks like a 500% increase over last year, approximately 40 students applied for this STEM related scholarship for use in Washington colleges.  This scholarship is renewable over 5 years the student is in college for a potential total of $22,500 per student.   The requirements were simple…the student had to be pursuing a STEM related career from a broad range of majors including Automobile Technician, Medical, Math and Science teachers and of course engineering, plus biological, physical and computer sciences, including a GPA and income requirement.  “We’re really proud of our students” said Sandy Elton, scholarship coordinator at SKHS.  “They realized what a great opportunity this was and jumped on it.”  The State made a major effort to increase applicants this year and a mini-competition broke out amongst the regional high schools and South clearly dominated other schools, filing dozens more than the closest competitor.  “More scholarships were available last year than applicants so South made a special effort to get the word out.  We’re hoping most if not all of them get awarded this” said Dave Reichel, SKHS Career Counselor.  This is such a great example of excellence with high support for high expectations.  Well done !!

    According to Principal Pat Oster, the Environmental Science/Natural Resources Students at Discovery Alternative High School recently released 70,000 Chum Salmon into Beaver Creek where one of our goals is to regain a maximum sustainable yield population of "wild,” naturally spawning, Coho and Chum. Our hatchery work is intended to help jump-start this process because the native salmon populations of Puget Sound have been decimated and in many cases erased.  Pat shared, “Our focus is to help create a sustainable future while providing service based learning opportunities for our students.”  As Billy Frank Jr. of the Puyallup said, "When we honor the salmon, we honor ourselves." Furthermore, students hugely benefit from authentic opportunities to contribute to their local communities, while learning math, science and career skills one of our schools STEM Projects.

    The eggs are provided to this project, via the Port Orchard Rotary Club, and by Minter Creek WA ST Hatchery. We are permitted for a given number of eggs and required to file "Release Documentation," etc. to the State. However, the Suquamish have worked with the Navy Fuel Depot in the past on a delayed-release project and were also involved in the Beaver Creek Restoration Project. The Navy Fuel Depot property and adjacent EPA property allows a secure release point, with easy, safe access by spectators and students.  The Suquamish have also generously provided schools all over Kitsap County with eggs for the "Salmon in the Classroom" curriculum for years.  This is a powerful partnership and brings to mind --"Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  Great job Discovery students and staff!!

    Recently, students at Cedar Heights have been visiting college campuses.  On February 26, forty 8th graders went to Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University in Seattle.  They toured the campus and attended an admissions Q/A session.  On March 11, we are sending one hundred 9th grade students to the University of Washington in Seattle where they will tour the campus and attend a student panel for Q/A, along with an Admission Presentation.  Finally, on April 22, we are sending one hundred 7th graders to the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma where they will tour the campus and attend a presentation. 

    Another indicator of our growing enrollment is the increase in students that qualify for special education from the age of 3-5.  Our Special Services Director, Ms. Shelby MacMeekin, observes that these students receive services in our developmental pre-school program or in community pre-school settings.  This is interesting data because it shows a large increase in a very limited age band.  In November of the 2011-12 school year, 84 pre-school students qualified for special education services.  By November of the 2015-2016 school year, that number had climbed to 147.  We currently are providing individualized services to 165 students.  Early intervention is vitally important, and this data is indicative of a burgeoning number of children entering the school system.  We have almost doubled in five years !!

    • 84 (November 2011-2012)
    • 92 (November 2012-2013)
    • 118 (November 2013-2014)
    • 120 (November 2014-2015)
    • 147 (November 2015-2016)  CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR

    The South Kitsap High School Equestrian Team recently completed their 2nd meet of the season.  Our ladies placed in the following events: Carley Stratton  - 2nd Place Dressage; Obstacle Relay - 2nd Place; Carley Stratton, Shawna Hettick, Ashlee Thomas, Kallie Daviscourt;  Canadian Flags  - 4th place -- Kallie Daviscourt, Ashlee Thomas, Brenna McIntyre, and Becky Raub.  This is a new team at the high school and is already finding success.  Well done Wolves !!

    This coming Saturday, Mr. Genai Kerr, a member of the USA Water Polo team at the Athens Olympics, will be teaching a clinic to any athletes interested in learning the game or improving upon skills they already possess.  In a full day clinic he will be teaching the basics and moving into advanced skills and techniques for each position.  For a sport that is little known in our area this is a great opportunity for SK athletes who are interested in participating in one of the world's most demanding sports.  Coach Zack Fogel, our amazing water polo coach, is busy building a water polo dynasty and invites anyone interested to don a suit and join him Saturday.  It is so great to see our community http://www.ussportscamps.com/waterpolo/nike/nike-5meter-port-orchard-wa-water-polo-camp/ profiled as part of a national team. 

    Don’t miss this year’s musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! Set in 1850 in the Oregon Territory, this is the tale of farmer Adam Pontipee, the eldest of seven brothers, who brings a wife (Milly) home. The six brothers decide they want to get married as well and Milly has her work cut out for her, teaching them good manners, hygiene and how to win a girl’s heart. The show runs Fridays/Saturdays March 4, 5, 11, 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays March 6 and 13 at 2:00 p.m. General admission is $8 for adult and $7 for students and seniors. With the amazing talent here in South Kitsap, we are sure to see Oscar worthy performances. 

    Finally, as many of us have read the at times disheartening vignettes about this wonderful profession, Justin Minkel speaks up about why he has made the choice to teach for the rest of his career Why I Plan to Stay in Teaching .  A bit about the author -- Justin Minkel teaches 2nd and 3rd grade at Jones Elementary in Springdale, Ark., a high-performing, high-poverty school where 85 percent of the students are English-language learners. A former Teach For America corps member, Minkel was the 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. In his instruction, he is focused on bringing advanced learning opportunities to immigrant and at-risk students. I found this article to be both provocative and inspiring and hope you find it as illuminating. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/26/2016

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    Whew, what a week.  As you by now have heard, the sad and inexplicable house explosion that occurred early this week near Mullenix Ridge, set off a chain of events that affected our school and community.  First and foremost, I know that like you, I share healing thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of those who were in the house prior to the explosion.  We are a tight community and the misfortune of any one of us touches all of us.  I am proud of the staff of the school and district who worked hard early that morning to clean and prepare for a great day of learning at Mullenix Ridge.  I know you will join me in thanking our amazing Facilities Department for responding to the scene quickly and professionally.  They assessed the scene and took appropriate steps to clean up and repair the building in order that we might have a safe school day.  Our community First Responders also were quickly on scene and supporting all elements of this situation as they continue to keep our community safe.  We have confirmed that following a review of the building by one of our local structural engineers, the building is confirmed to be safe and secure. I want to thank each of you for your patience and support as unforeseen events at times challenge us in ways we might not imagine possible.  Please remain confident that the district and school staff at all times hold student and staff safety as a top priority. 

    I want to share some exciting news from the high school Knowledge Bowl team.  They won the ESD Regional Championship yesterday at Fort Warden and have earned their first ever trip to the State Tournament which will be held on March 19 at Arlington High School.  They have been narrowly defeated the last few years by their (now former) long-time nemesis, Central Kitsap. They received the top score out of 41 teams and won by 14 points too!  Last year, they were edged by one point.  Needless to say, they are very excited and proud!  And, we are proud of them !!  The following team members will be going to the State Competition on March 19th at Arlington High School representing our district: Gryffyn Holbrook (12); Matthew Collins (12); Reidar Kelstrup (12); and Ryan Hopkins (10).  Their amazing and clearly knowledgeable coaches are Ms. Maude Stearns-Droker and Mr. Todd Olson.  Go Wolves !! Well done !! 

    As the winter sports season has now come to an end, I think it important to note that our student athletes here in South Kitsap never forget that they are students first.    We maintain the high expectations that will enable future life and career success for our Wolves.  Check out the team GPAs for our winter sports teams:

    Girls’ Basketball                3.40           

    Boys’ Basketball               3.04

    Girls’ Bowling                    3.27

    Boys’ Swim and Dive         3.10

    Wrestling                        3.02

    Dance                            3.15

    A total of 204 winter sports athletes with an overall GPA of 3.16!  Our coaches support this commitment to excellence in the classroom.  Well done Wolves!

    We had more exciting news this week !  On February 23, South Kitsap High School received official notification that they have been authorized to be an IB World School, Diploma Programme.    With authorization, SKHS joins a global community of schools committed to developing young people who will be ready to successfully negotiate their futures.   Mr. Andrew Macdonald, Chief IB Schools Officer, stated, “We commend your school’s educators, administrators, students, and families for their active roles in choosing to offer the DP”.  Mr. Casey Ogan, SKHS Associate Principal and IB Lead, remarked, “ This is a great example of a team and organizational effort to increase opportunities for our students”.  SKHS is the first school in the West Sound region to offer this program of studies.  Well done !! 

    We had a great Board meeting night at Hidden Creek last night.  First and third grade students from Hidden Creek Elementary presented at the board meeting last night and demonstrated parts of the International Baccalaureate program curriculum and philosophy.  The first grade students were endearing in their zeal for the project they are working on and the learning they are doing, while the third graders were amazing in their grasp of poetry and the various genres being studied.  Hidden Creek teachers, Ms. Felitia Conley and Ms. Ann Gresley, as well as third grade teacher, Ms. Jessica Clawson continue to inspire the best in our students.  Well done !!

    Two of our long-time IT staff are heading out for new adventures, and their last day with us will be next Monday!  Mr. Darrell Thommen, IT Support Specialist, has served many of our schools during his 14 years with us and will be enjoying a well-deserved retirement. Ms. Cindi Robinson, Information Services Specialist, has also served us for 14 years and has accepted a position with the Olympic ESD supporting school districts in the region.  The IT Department will be hosting an Open House in the ITS Building on Monday, February 29 from 3:30 – 4:30. Please stop by, enjoy some refreshments and wish Darrell and Cindi well in their new adventures! 

    This week, our Kitsap Sun had a great article reviewing the role of para-educators in the schools.  Our very own, Ms. Anita Severson, currently an integral part of the instructional intervention team at Sidney Glen, has been a para-educator for 27 years in the South Kitsap School District and is one of the featured staff.  Well done.

    Don’t miss the 7th annual Canned Film Festival tomorrow evening at the South Kitsap High School Theatre. Students from the Video Production program will be exhibiting their projects. The show will begin at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free but donations of canned food for South Kitsap Helpline are encouraged. 

    Check out this video talking about class registration at South Kitsap High School. Counselors share class information, important notes, timelines and tips on the online registration process.  These are such important decisions.  Thank you for such clear direction.

    Last night at the Board meeting, the school board voted unanimously to re-run the bond to fund construction of a second high school on the April 26, 2016 ballot. The details of the bond remain the same.  The Board can only run the bond election twice in a calendar year with three time slots remaining this year: April, August and the General Election in November.  Given the rate of planned community construction, current interest rates, and the predicted building cost(s) escalation, losing a year of planning and building time does not seem prudent; therefore, the April date has been chosen.  Look for more bond information in the upcoming days and weeks.

    I want to share our continued excitement over our enrollment story. With regard to current student enrollment news, our February 1, 2016, head count was over 9,600 and continues to trend more than 200 students over budget.  This is up from prior years and continues to demonstrate a healthy growth in the district and community.  The enrollment chart for FTE student count is the chart for which we receive state funding.  This is such great news for our district as it enables us to continue to be stable in our planning and resource decision making.  Our enrollment increase is also an opportunity to celebrate our hard work with innovative programs and support initiatives. The school board voted unanimously to run the bond to fund construction of a second high school on the April 26, 2016 ballot.

    Finally, as we have celebrated the 100th day of school this week, an interesting phenomenon occurred with the kindergarten classes at EPO and some ‘visiting teachers’. While I know this work is often challenging, yet amazingly rewarding, it can at times seem to age us a bit….;>)

    All the best for a beautiful warm and outdoor weekend, 

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Letter to Mullenix Ridge Families

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/23/2016 4:00:00 PM

    Dear Mullenix Ridge Elementary Families,

    I want to take a moment and share news of our school situation this morning.   As you by now have heard, the sad and inexplicable house explosion that occurred early this morning near the school, set off a chain of events that affected our school community.  First and foremost, I know that like you, I share healing thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of those who investigators believe were in the house prior to the explosion.  We are a tight community and the misfortune of any one of us touches all of us. 

    I am proud of the staff of the school and district who worked hard early this morning to clean and prepare for a great day of learning at Mullenix Ridge today.  In terms of school safety topics and questions, I know you will join me in thanking our amazing Facilities Department for responding to the scene quickly and professionally.  They assessed the scene and took appropriate steps to clean up and repair the building in order that we might have a safe school day.  Our community First Responders also were quickly on scene and supporting all elements of this situation as they continue to keep our community safe. 

    I have received word that following a review of the building, by one of our local structural engineers, the building was confirmed to be safe and secure.  The broken windows were or are being secured and the internal dust likely caused as a result of ceiling tile displacement has been cleaned up.  Further, the fire sprinkler system ceiling rings have been replaced and the system is fully functional.  We did ask the Fire Department to do an assessment of the air quality prior to the start of the school day and were assured that there were no toxins in the air. 

    Finally, I want to thank each of you for your patience and support as unforeseen events at times challenge us in ways we might not imagine possible.  Please remain confident that the district and school staff at all times hold student safety as a top priority. 

    If there are any further questions or concerns you might have with regard to this situation, please feel free to contact me personally or contact the principal, Ms. Ginnie Brossard. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.




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